“The Syndrome” by Meryl Goldsmith pursues a subject that proves to be urgent, fascinating and high stakes — the controversy surrounding shaken baby syndrome. It’s unfortunate then, that the documentary itself isn’t executed with more finesse and a broader perspective.
Goldsmith’s film explores the shadowy world of child-abuse diagnosis, prevention and legislation, including powerful doctors who are committed to promoting what the film would argue is outdated science. The film shows that a triad of powerful pediatricians continue to promote shaken baby syndrome, turning a profit from their studies, centers and conferences. “The Syndrome” focuses on a few doctors who have chosen to speak out on the issue, even in the face of ridicule, threats and perjury charges.
Running time: 1 hour 26 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills.